Friday, March 28, 2008

Memories of my mother ... (part two) ...

Unlike the series of posts about my brother and sister, these will not be chronological.

My mother wasn't particularly tall, probably around five and a half feet (maybe half an inch less), but she wore a fairly unusual shoe size, a 10 1/2 AAAAA. None of the stores in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) carried that size, she said, so she either mail-ordered them -- or, perhaps once every couple of years, we would take a trip to Chicago.

We were in Macy's, I think, four of us -- Mom, Peggy, Johnny, and me. Dad wasn't with us. I don't think he liked to shop. (I must take after him, huh?) "Stay close to me," was the constant admonition. And we did -- well, most of the time.

A small panic ensued a little later when we realized that Johnny (he couldn't have been more than four years old) was nowhere to be seen. We looked down this aisle and then that one ... no Johnny. Mother was getting somewhat frantic, and Peggy and I were worried, as well. After all, he was small, and this was a huge store!

We noticed a number of people who were all gathered around 'something', pointing and laughing amongst themselves. We inched closer to see what the attraction might be, all the while keeping a keen eye out for Johnny.

Do you remember those concrete water fountains, by any chance? The ones where water was always bubbling up at the top? You could lean over and take a sip or two without having to try and locate a lever or button.

Well, Johnny had discovered, simply by placing his thumb over part of the fountain, that he could direct the water in any direction he chose, and was having the time of his young life doing so!

One of us girls shouted, "There's Johnny!" He heard it and looked our direction. At this point, Mother firmly grabbed both of us by the hand and quick-marched us away, saying, "Come, children. I never saw him before in my life!"

Johnny quickly left his experiment and ran to his mama. He stayed pretty close to her side for the rest of the trip.

That tactic wouldn't have worked with my daughter, I don't think. Once, while shopping in a pretty large store, we were accidentally separated.

Hubby and I were increasingly anxious to find her (she must have been about the same age as Johnny when he was having all that fun with the fountain) and searching more and more frantically when all of a sudden we heard, over the loudspeaker, "Will the parents of ----- please come to -----?"

I mean, we RAN!! A tearful reunion, lots of kisses, hugs, and smiles all around.

Well, the very next time we were in a fairly large store, my daughter must have remembered all of the attention she had gotten the last time. She had heard her name called over the loudspeaker, we had run to her, lots of kisses and hugs had been exchanged, etc.

She waited until we were a little preoccupied and then made a tearful dash for the nearest person with a badge, telling him/her that she couldn't find her parents!

Sure enough, her name was clearly announced over the loudspeaker and the reunion was accomplished. This time, however, we were a little bit suspicious ... and, the next time it happened, we told her, "If you do it again, we're just going to leave the store without you!" (By the way, she never did it again.)

So, Mother's tactic did work, right? What do I know?

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